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Portland vs. Seattle

I was just in Portland, where I had a nice dim sum in a Chinatown full of stripper clubs.

I was amused to see in the local alternative paper that the NYT has been talking up Portland as the next big dining experience. The alternative paper had a wonderful time of mocking Seattle as tired and passe as a result.

I have only eaten in Portland a few times and not in the Pearl or anywhere trendy. I like the idea of the microbrewies etc., but wonder since Portland is so much smaller if it can really compete with the Seattle restaurant scene.

What say you all? Portland or Seattle? Which is best?

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  1. First off, there are only a couple strip clubs in Chinatown, not that I'd have intimate knowledge. Second, the best dim sum is in the burbs, so I can't imagine where you went; it couldn't have been any good at all, IMHO. There's not necessarily any correlation between population and food quality, same as any other aspect of culture such as the arts or bike-friendliness. The "alternative" paper you cite is Willamette Week, and they were trying to be cute and tongue-in-cheek.

    1. Portland has absolutely the worst dimsum on all of the west coast. Wong's King is the only restaurant (and to some extent Jin Wah in Beaverton) that can pass muster (and Wong's King's quality is rapidly deteriorating, unfortunately). The ones in Chinatown are absolutely terrible (and I say this even as members of my extended family actually own/used to own these restaurants).

      In terms of Chinese food, I can fill a whole page with names of Chinese people I personally know who drive to Seattle and/or Vancouver just for the Chinese food. Things have gotten much better nowadays in Portland, but it's still not very good. Vietnamese is a much better choice when dining for Asian food in Portland.

      1. I think these guys are overreacting to the quality of House of Louie or Fong Chong, both perfectly fine dim sum places in Chinatown. However, that having been said about Cantonese dim sum, no Szechuan places in Portland come close to the authenticity and quality of Seven Stars Pepper in Seattle or Szechuan Chef in Bellevue.

        Overall, however, I think Portland is a better restaurant town than Seattle. There are obviously many great places in both cities, but if I had one week to eat the city, I'd rather do it in Portland.

        4 Replies
        1. re: AlbertaHound

          House of Louie and Fong Chong used to be the sole monopoly of Chinese food in Portland about 10-15 years ago. The owners have stated that "people generally don't know any better, so we can get away with serving them crap because there's no other Chinese restaurant around" - and it definitely shows in their food. Because of bad management and rampant graft from their own employees, the original owners cashed out a few years ago. There were also increasing numbers of new Chinese/Asian restaurants sprouting up around Portland - while not top notch, they were easily surpassing the "quality" of these two former Chinatown flagships. The two restaurants are now reputed owned/controlled by the Vietnamese mafia in Portland. I'm guessing that the restaurant could have only IMPROVED under new management.

          Portland has many, many excellent restaurants. I especially personally enjoy Fenouil and various Indian places on the westside. However, the Chinese food is definitely sub-par.

          An anecdote about Wong's King: As I said, they were not too shabby of a place when they first opened, but only if you go for dinner and order their expensive seafood dishes. Have you noticed an awards plaque at the front of the restaurant? It says something like "Best Chinese Restaurant in the World". There was some contest in China a few years back (around Wong's King's opening) to find the best Chinese restaurant in America. Apparently, Wong's King won because no other contestants showed up. But that didn't stop them from using this award to hype up the restaurant before the opening. At first, the excellent food did meet the expectations. But I had dimsum and dinner there about 2-3 months ago and it's definitely on a downward spiral. I'm obviously not alone in this observation - since I was able to get a table in less than 15-20 minutes for a Saturday lunch (as opposed to more than a one-hour wait at the height of its fame).

          1. re: HungWeiLo

            Wong's has had many bad health dept. inspections, meaning sub-70 (gotta be pretty awful to get that low) scores and threatened with losing license unless they clean up their act in 30 days. On at least one report it said that no supervisor on site was able to demonstrate proper sanitary techniques.

            1. re: Leonardo

              I just looked at the health inspection reports website for King County (Seattle), and it seems like the cleanest places are fast food joints (McD's, Jack in the Box, etc.) and the dirties places are the high-end establishments.

              Personally, I think food sanitation is overrated. I just got back from France and Italy and everything tasted so bland and crappy when I got back. And the food is bland and crappy because of the stringent FDA regulations for the most part. But county food safety rules also contribute to this (rules about refrigeration, etc.). In France, I had an orgasmic meal where the chef's dog wandered around the kitchen and in the dining room. On my way to the bathroom, lots of food was left sitting out on the counter. If that happened here, they'd shut the place down!

              When the next big food bug hits the supply chain, our ill-immuned American bodies will be thoroughly screwed.

            2. re: HungWeiLo

              Despite the fact that I have enjoyed the fung gor, hum bao, potstickers, and shrimp ha gao at both Louie's and Fong Chong, I gotta say, wow! you seem to have great information and are a real asset to Chowhound. Keep it coming!

          2. Okay, I admit we ate at Wong Kee seafood restaurant. After reading your remarks on sanitation, will never go there again. Thanks for warning.

            We did not have an option since we only had time to walk around downtown and look for a place. We figured, well, at least Wong Kee has a Chinese name. Also we peeked in and saw that most of the food was steamed, not fried. And they had a seafood tank so maybe the food was fresh (at other places it looked like it had been sitting). Plus, we were the only non-Asians, so we figured that was a good sign. If there is better way to pick a Chinese restaurant, let me know. We are Italian and we love Chinese food.

            I understand the best Chinese places in Portland are on 82nd, no? This is in suburbs? Names please! Will go there next time.

            Wong's wasn't bad. Perhaps we came at good time, when food was just coming out. We were surprised as it was Sunday and there were no lines anywhere. In Seattle we would have had to wait. Everybody was nice and we enjoyed our visit to the city. Wedged in visit to Powells, of course.

            In any case, I was asking about the food scene iin general, not the Chinese food scene. Sorry for confusion. So anybody got an opinion on that? What are pros and cons? As in:

            Seattle pros
            Chinese (yes, it's better in Richmond, B.C., but too far to drive, okay?)
            Indian (on Eastside near Microsoft)
            Whatever you'd call Lark, Veil, Crow (and other places I can't afford to eat!)
            Yummy neighborhood breakfast places, such as 5 Spot
            Dahlia Lounge etc.

            Seattle cons
            Italian food (except newly opened Taorina, I've heard, where Bill Gates & Bill Clinton recently spotted. But we still don't have any true traittorias, just high-end or spaghetti western. Well, La Spiga maybe, but nothing I just love)
            French. Getting better, but again nothing that I just adore. And I am a chowhound!
            Jewish delis
            Pizza (did love Tutta Bella, but quality way down since expansion. And no more Pancetta pizza, my favorite).

            Again, I am no expert on Portland. That's why I'm asking. What'dya got? What do you wish you had?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Italian Woman

              Can you provide a link to more info about Taorina in Seattle, thanks!

              1. re: barleywino

                I thought I heard that the Gates and Clinton dined at Troiani downtown which has been opened for quite awhile...

                1. re: roma_girl

                  ok thx...unless Italian Woman is thinking of Tavolata (?)

                  1. re: barleywino

                    i don't know...In the Girl About Town column in the Times this weekend she mentioned that Gates and Clinton dined at Troiani, but she could have been wrong. Troiani seems like more of a Gates/Clinton place though! I've never been there and haven't heard any raves, but haven't heard any horrible things either. If anyone's been let me know...

                    1. re: roma_girl

                      Troiani is decent but not spectacular, better than say Palomino but not what i would consider to be a dining destination or top 10 in Seattle. Maybe they pulled out the stops for the bigwigs though. They do have good focaccia from Specialty Bakery, and i've had some good braised short rib and Frenched rib steak there (both of which unfortunately get rotated on and off the menu)

              2. re: Italian Woman

                want a good pancetta pizza in Seattle? Go to Fondi's, in a strip mall, northwest of the University Village. Good pizza, good salads, good sorbets, gelato, avoid the tiramisu. It's better than Tutta Bella, at least in my 3 visits.

                1. re: Italian Woman

                  For pizza, check out Flying Pie on 70something (76th, I think?) and Stark.

                2. I'm familiar with restaurants in both cities and Seattle kicks Portland's ass every which way from high end to cheap ethnic food not to mention you have waaaay more options here of each type of restaurant so you have some variety. I think this is why Portland restauranteurs are coming up here like the clark lewis guy (which was the best restaurant in Portland in its heyday) and the Coupage guy (forgot the name of his place in Portland) - more sophisticated audience here which has more demanding palate, definitely more money to be made here, etc. Just saying.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: landguy

                    Seattle can have the clarklewis guy (Michael Hebberoy) AND the Coupage guy (Tom Hurley) with Portland's compliments!

                    1. re: Kim D

                      The clark lewis's original chef is up here too. I guess I was writing about him more than that Hebberoy guy. His food is/was brilliant.

                      1. re: landguy

                        Hey, at least in Portland we can know the names of our chefs--in this case, you're talking about Morgan Brownlow.

                        1. re: Nettie

                          I admit I'm lazy. Morgan isn't cooking here yet but I sure hope he does soon! I guess he does live here now though....

                    2. re: landguy

                      Let's hear about all the wonderful and superior options Seattle has in, say, the areas of Northern Thai street food (vs. Pok Pok), world class pizza (vs. Apizza Scholls, Ken's Artisan) or Jewish deli (vs. the newly opened Kenny & Zuke's).

                      And how about some evidence to support your "familiarity" with restaurants in both cities. The citation of the "clarklewis guy" and "the Coupage guy," both excess baggage to us Portlanders, suggests abundant cluelessness, not familiarity, concerning the Portland restaurant scene. "Just saying," indeed.

                      1. re: swami rabbitima

                        A city with a great restaurant scene has depth and bredth. Citing a great northern Thai and Jewish deli doesn't make the case at all.

                        1. re: swami rabbitima

                          Ok whatever dude. You guys take yourselves too seriously. I have no problem admitting Seattle can't hold a candle to say a San Fran or New York but I doubt you guys in Portland could do the same. You suffer from little town syndrome. Just saying. Hey, at least you get good writeups in Food and Wine and what not....

                          P.S We can buy Carnegie Deli's NYC Kosher Pastrami and Corned Beef from DeLaurenti's at Pike's Place Market, Seattle USA! Booyah! As for other restaurants well we do probably 4x the options here when it comes to every type of cuisine so you can kind of assume we have you beat. Just saying.

                          1. re: landguy

                            uh. . .yeah, sure, "dude." that imported fridge packed stuff no doubt beats the pants off fresh, made-daily-in-house product you won't ever try here in little tiny puddletown cuz it's beneath you.

                            the more lucid Seattleites here understand each city has it's strengths, but if you want to stick with the Seattle kicks ass across the board thing, fine. You are destined to miss out on some wonderful dining at many of the places identified in this thread. And the NYC-Portland thing: just a big conspiracy to hose Seattle out of its due.

                            at least we can agree that Seattle can't hold a candle to NYC or SF--or any other world class cities. You will always be compared to Portland, and that's the way it goes.

                            keep working on the 20something-speak, "dude"--it's darn entertaining--and don't go out without your hoodie! It's chilly.

                            1. re: swami rabbitima

                              not a Portland expert but i had a great dinner at Carlyle once...chef put together an impromptu tasting...could use more places like that up here in Seattle

                            2. re: landguy

                              It's amazing that the only name dropping you do to support that you think Seattle has better restaurants than Portland is that you guys can get product not even made there!!! come on "dude"

                        2. two entirely different scenes. The P'land that the NYTimes luvs is very small and for the most part very new. But, the spirit in P'land is what the buzz is about.
                          Opening a restaurant in Seattle (for the most part) is expensive .. rent's are high & landlords often don't help with improvements. I've heard from friends that Portland rents are much cheaper.
                          I think that the new restaurants that get buzz down south are versions of Sitka & Spruce, small, off the path places, like Alberta Street and Le Pigeon that seem to be chef run. I don't think Portland has the variety of offerings but despite it's size it is certainly give Seattle a run for it.

                          1. I live in Seattle, but I visit Portland quite a bit. Seattle does have a lot of great restaurants, but I have literally NEVER had a bad meal in Portland. I definitely have in Seattle. I think Portland has WAY better breakfast spots (I love the Cricket, for one).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: burritobelle

                              Agree. I don't know if I've just been exceptionally lucky or what, but I've never had a bad meal in Portland. (Not that Paley's Place was all that... but it definitely wasn't bad.)

                              1. re: terrier

                                I think it's hard to judge if you're a visitor to one city and a resident of another. As a visitor, you tend to choose your meals more carefully, and of course, you don't get as many. As a resident, you end up going to a wider variety of spots often based on location, friends' preferences, convenience, giving something new and unknown a shot, etc etc.

                            2. Yes, I did see Toriano in the Girl about Town thing. She made it sound recently opened or maybe it was my careless reading. Doesn't sound that exciting from what y'all say.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Italian Woman

                                The restaurant mentioned in the "Girl About Town" column is Troiani in downtown Seattle. Too many vowels, in my opinion, so I can see where the confusion arose.

                                1. re: Roo

                                  is that the one in the old Fleming's locale?

                                  1. re: bluedog67

                                    Yes. It opened in 2003, iirc. It was great when it first opened and now is a mediocre expense account restaurant wannabe.

                              2. I live in Seattle and have taken a few trips to portland, mainly just to eat and shop. My thoughts:

                                Nothing in Seattle can compare to the quality, and I'm guessing, consistency of Apizza Scholls.

                                Ken's Artisan is good but inconsistent. Pearl Bakery is crap.
                                Seattle has a multitude of bakeries consistently making excellent product: Macrina, Dahlia, Besalu, Tall Grass, Columbia City, to name a few.

                                Chinese food in Seattle is pretty much crap. Based upon information provided by locals and upthread, it seems as if Chinese food in Portland is even worse.

                                the brisket at Podnah's is better than any BBQ in Seattle PERIOD!

                                I've only had the reuben at Kenny and Zuke's. I thought it was even better than Langer's much less anything in Seattle. The best I found in Seattle is at Casciopo Bros in Ballard. It doesn't even compare to the sandwich I had at K&Z's.

                                (Grain of salt here, since I've only been to a handful of places in Portland.) I think this is where both cities shine. Both cities offer wonderful regional cuisines such as Pok Pok and Pambiche in Portland (BTW, I had a very mediocre meal at Andina.) . I'm much more familiar with Seattle offerings, my favorites being Monsoon, Sitka and Spruce, Malay Satay Hut, Greenleaf, Harvest Vine, and La Carta de Oaxaca. (Based on my limited knowledge of Portland) I'd give the edge to Seattle on quantity of above average midrange places. But please help add to my list of places to try in Portland.

                                High End:
                                Can't say I've tried many high end places in Portland. Bluehour was crap. Clarklewis was exceptional. Wildwood was dated. I think that the majority of restaurants in Seattle that are attemting the high end, are doing it very well. Personally, I think Mistral, Union, Lark, Crush, and Veil can hang with the big boys in any city. I don't think Portland has quite the number of quality high-end places as Seattle. Again, please set me straight if I am wrong.

                                Finally, Doughnuts:
                                I don't care how much bacon you put on it, Top Pot kicks Voodoo's ass any day of the week!

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: hhlodesign


                                  As a Portlander, I'd have to say your post was pretty spot on. You are sooo right about Chinese (really dismal offerings here). Midrange you might consider Le Pigeon, Toro Bravo, Lovely Hula Hands, Park Kitchen and Clyde Common. High end I like Paleys and Carlyle, although neither offers a decent prix fixe option, which seems to be a more common format in Seattle, particularly the places you mentioned. Nice post over-all. Reminds me that I need to get back up there for a weekend soon. Thanks!

                                  1. re: Kim D

                                    Pretty much agree too, as a Portlander.

                                    However, you'd have to try more high end in Portland to really compare.

                                    Plus, the Voodoo (eclectic to the max) / Top Pot (specialize in cake-style) comparison depends largely on the type of donut you're looking for.

                                  2. re: hhlodesign

                                    I split my time between Portland & Seattle (& Eugene too), and totally agree. However, I would add that Seattle beats Portland for Sushi, and that both shine for coffee & vietnamese.

                                    1. re: hhlodesign

                                      Agree with you on Top Pot for doughnuts, but what about Serious Pie for Pizza?

                                      1. re: jdestes

                                        I actually really like Serious Pie, but I hesitate to call it pizza. The crust is more of a bread than a pizza crust; which I really like but it makes it hard to compare with other pizzas.

                                        1. re: hhlodesign

                                          Now that you mention it, the last time I ate there the crust was really salty like a good loaf of bread

                                        2. re: jdestes

                                          I can't let you call Serious Pie Pizza... sorry.

                                          Much better choices in Seattle for pizza. Please Portlanders, try another pizza joint!

                                      2. I'm thankful that I live by Seattle because that puts me in easy driving distance to two great dining cities - Portland and Vancouver. This is not to say that our dining scene is in any way shabby.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: kirkj

                                          I second that notion. I've lived in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Engage in the Seattle-vs-Portland battles all you want - but just thank the food gods that you don't live in Chattanooga or somewhere like that.

                                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                                            What restaurants would you recommend for Chinese in Seattle? I realize it's not as good as LA or SF, but if it's better than Portland I wouldn't mind trying one or two. Thanks!

                                            1. re: ScarletB

                                              Most of the good Chinese places in Seattle have been well-covered on CH. I personally like Yea's Wok in Factoria, Bamboo Gardens and Szechwan Chef in Bellevue, Imperial Gardens in Renton, Hing Loon in ID (hit-or-miss, but you stand a much better chance if you order off the specials on the wall). King's (aka Ming's) in Bellevue is also good. Caveat: Unfortunately, all of these places are best if you order off the Chinese-language menu. So if you don't speak the language, bring a friend, ask a waiter, or be adventurous and point randomly :-) If they care enough to provide a Chinese-language menu, it is sometimes one of the many litmus tests you can apply to the quality of the food.

                                              For funky Hong Kong/Tokyo-style fusion Asian food in the ID - try Ft. St. George, Purple Dot, or 663 (663 also has fresh Chinese BBQ). In the mood for Cantonese wonton noodles? You can't beat Mike's (next to the park with the pagoda in the ID) - but get there before 11:30am for the best chance at getting a table.

                                              In Seattle, I think Korean and (some) Japanese food are better than the Chinese food. The market for good/high-end Chinese food is unfortunately absent in Seattle, because of our close proximity to Vancouver. Although I personally haven't been up in a while, since it really sucks to give the bank $100 and get back $93 Canadian. I think Portland has the edge on Vietnamese, however. But I find that Seattle's rapidly overtaking that arena as far as I know.

                                              1. re: HungWeiLo


                                                I concur in your Seattle chinese breakdown. I would add Facing East in bellevue, which serves taiwanese that I've enjoyed (at least the two dishes I sampled). Well-curated menu as well, and the place is usually crowded. Note also that Bamboo Garden just put out an english menu with all the authentic (and offal-oriented) sichuan items that for a while were only in chinese.

                                                Vietnamese: Why does P-town get the edge? Are you thinking that the average pho or bahn mi shop is better quality? Is there a particular spot that matches Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf?

                                                Any Korean reccomendations?

                                                1. re: equinoise

                                                  Ah yes I forgot about Facing East. Good pick.

                                                  I was never particularly impressed with Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf. TT gives you very nice decor for their price range, but the food is just so-so. Dressed up cuisine for the sake of dressing things up, which in this case doesn't add much to the food overall. I think in the end - I just don't think Vietnamese (or most "third-world" cuisines) really benefit from all the "prettying up" that these types of restaurants do to it. It's better to concentrate on gathering good, fresh ingredients and cooking methods rather than focusing too much on the presentation of it all. What can I say? I'm a hole-in-the-wall diner at heart.

                                                  But as I mentioned, Portland's Vietnamese quality has been declining. I went to my neighborhood favorite Pho Hung on Powell, and it was just terrible. It used to be the pedestal of pho houses in the Pacific NW, but I have not been back in a few years and thought it would nice to go back again. Although places like Bun Bo Hue the various places on Sandy are still doing the hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese seekers like myself some justice.

                                                  For Korean, I personally like Mirak in Federal Way, Kawon in Lynnwood. Hosoonyi in Edmonds is great for Soon Du Bu. There's supposedly good Korean fried chicken next to Pho Than Brothers by 99 Ranch in Lynnwood.

                                                  1. re: HungWeiLo


                                                    Regarding Mi Rak in Federal Way, I don't think its as good as its reputation. I live in Federal Way and as you know, there is almost nothing else to eat other than Korean here. So I eat Korean a lot here. I'd rate Mi Rak at 3rd or 4th overall here. Probably my favorite place right now is Chang Ahn Jung on Pac Hyw. The banchan is very good here. Banchan at the tofu house inside of Pal Do world is also very good as well while I'm talking about banchan.

                                                    We found the service at Mi Rak poor, banchan decent but not above average, meat quality good but nothing spectacular.

                                                    Regarding korean fried chicken, there are two places in Federal Way that specialize in this. The first is Cuckatoo's fried chicken on Pac Hwy. Very nice, very friendly servers, great drink prices and happy hour deals. One of our favorite places to hang out. There is another Korean fried chicken joint further south on Pac Hwy next door to one of the Korean pool halls, which I have not eaten at yet. I'll admit I'm not a Korean fried chicken expert by any means but I do endorse Cuckatoo's as a fun, laid back, great value joint for food or drinks up to 2AM every day!

                                                    I have no business relationships with any of these places.

                                                    1. re: Ligament

                                                      Well, if I wanted good service, I certainly wouldn't go to most Asian restaurants. :-) Mi Rak may have slow/bad service, but Kawon is the worst. They have 2 waitresses waiting on the entire restaurant (40-50 tables?) Sometimes I grab my own water and beer. But that doesn't stop me from eating there and enjoying the food. Yes - Mirak is not high-end. It's good and cheap in the way that Musashi in Wallingford is for Japanese. It's borderline comfort food, but still good enough to go back to often. And given that you rate Mirak 3rd or 4th in a place that has a gazillion Korean restaurants, your opinion of them isn't that low. :-)

                                                      Actually, when my wife and I were in Europe a while ago, we noticed that waiters don't come and give you the fakey "how's everything" spiel. It was rather refreshing, I thought. These Asian hole-in-the-wall type places offer that type of service, if that's your thing.

                                                      I'll love to try out the FW places that you have mentioned one of these days. Although I live on the other side of the sound nowadays, so it'll take a lot of persuasion to have me come all the way down there.

                                                      1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                        Shopping the H-Mart is excuse enough for me.

                                                  2. re: equinoise

                                                    For Korean in Portland, I'd recommend HoSoonYi in Beaverton, a little SW of Portland. It was opened by the original owner of the Edmonds locale. When he sold out, he couldn't compete in the same market, so he went south. The menu and style is very simular. As in Edmonds, the Soondobu and Pa Joon are first rate.
                                                    As for Vietnamese, the Pho Van group is very good. Their original on 82nd serves the usual pho/bun/com items but the execution is exceptional. Even the nuc cham is perfection. Their high-end restaurant is Silk in the Pearl District. They do the fusion thing there along the lines of Monsoon - not quite as well but still very good.

                                          2. It seems my fellow posters have turned this into a pissing match. While Portland and Seattle both have great food. I might have to lean towards Portland on this one. Seattle may have more choices - but that does not necessarily mean better. Seattle could have us beat on Asian food especially Chinese- but even then - basic portland viet - thai is hard to beat. Most of that NYT article was crap, they keep writing about Portland and getting it wrong. The basic difference is pretension -food in pdx is about cooking inspired dishes, not winning some contest for the most cosmopolitan small town. The restaurants are getting smaller- better- more fun- free and bold. Also one other clarification, skipping town and choosing to move to Seattle for better restaurants are two totally different things, like another poster said. Seattle can have Portland's sloppy chef seconds. Here is what is good in Portland.

                                            23 Hoyt- Chris Isreal is a genius
                                            Pok Pok- Inspired, fun, tasty
                                            Dove Vivi- Cornmeal crust pizza
                                            Navare- where all the local chefs go to eat
                                            Broder- New - Swedish breakfast, just started dinner
                                            Biwa - low key japanese- grilled meats,hand cut udon
                                            Best Baguette - Vietnamese Sandwiches
                                            Wong Kee - Dim Sum and then some
                                            Wing Ming BBQ - No Frills authentic chinese, and bbq duck pork...
                                            My Cahn - Vietnamese and Chinese
                                            Por que no - Tacos
                                            La Catrina - Taco cart on 82nd near Johnson Creek Blvd.
                                            Ken's Artisan Pizza- just f'ing good
                                            Pad Thai Kitchen- classics done right